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One of the best things to do in North Queensland in the summer months is to go swimming in a freshwater creek or swim hole. There are literally dozens scattered throughout the region, and most of them are set amongst the rainforest.

There’s a lot more to the country roads around Port Douglas than sugar cane crops. If you go exploring around the back roads you will inevitably come across a water hole at some point that is safe to swim in.

And, there’s no better way to soak up the natural scenery.


spring creek

spring creek swim hole near port douglasSpring Creek is popular with the locals and located on the southside of Port Douglas.

You get there by taking the turn off at Tresize Road and then taking a left into Spring Creek Road.

Keep driving until you come to the creek.

The water is clear and its fairly easy to get in to.

And if you like a bit of adrenaline there are a couple of rope swings to plunge into the cool water.


shannonvale water hole


port douglas swimming holesNorth of Port Douglas, follow the signs to the Shannonvale Winery and keep following Shannonvale Road until you see it.

You can’t miss it because the road crosses through the creek. There’s a small shaded parking area.

Not only is it very picturesque, this popular swim hole is particularly great if you’ve got small kids because it is easy to get into the water and the bottom is mostly sandy.

It’s also fairly shallow, only getting to about waist height.

It can get pretty crowded on some days but it is still a really beautiful swimming hole.


syndicate road swim hole


mossman swim holeIf you travel through Mossman north of Port Douglas, you’ll see a turn off on the left to Syndicate Road.

Keep driving along this road all the way through the canefields until you come to a bridge that crosses over the swim hole.

It’s pretty inconspicuous and the bridge is quite small so keep your eyes open.

You can get into the creek on both sides of the road.


finlayvale road swim hole


port douglas swim holesIf you take Syndicate Road you’ll see a sign for Finlayvale Road on the left.

This is the road up to the luxurious Silky Oaks Lodge and the Mossman River runs along most of it all the way up to the Lodge.

About half way up you will see the main area off to the left. The river here is fairly wide with crystal clear water. It’s a great spot for a picnic.

If there are people there and you prefer a bit of privacy there is another little access point further along.


mossman gorge


Mossman Gorge is absolutely stunning and has to be mentioned on this list although you now have to pay an entry fee to go there. If you’re just after a quick dip we would recommend choosing one of the other Port Douglas swimming holes listed above. Mossman Gorge is now an indigenous tourist attraction with guided bushwalks and an information centre.


travel nq fast facts:


  • Definitely avoid jumping into dark creeks at low elevation nearer the coast. Crocs live in this part of the world but they don’t swim uphill so all of these Port Douglas swimming holes are safe to swim in. Look out for croc safety signs and ask the locals if you’re not sure.
  • Take extra care in the wet season when surging water levels can be dangerous and rocks are slippery.
  • Take insect repellent
  • Some accommodation options in the Port Douglas area have private access to creeks or water holes. Silky Oaks Lodge is an obvious one with a beautiful restaurant overlooking Mossman River. Sweetwater Lodge up near Julatten is also highly recommended and they have their very own water hole.